Host a Summer Barbeque-Tips and Advice
A Barbeque You Say... Let's Plan It!
My husband likes to smoke pork. He has had some experience in doing so for our friends and family, and they wait for our invitation. He has perfected his smoking to turn out the most juicy fall apart pork around.
He smokes two pork butts in his smoker that he bought at a hardware store, and over time he has made smoking his gift. We just had our annual spring barbeque, and the compliments are still coming.
Today as we finish cleaning after our party, friends are still calling and texting me how great it all was. There were no leftovers which saddens my husband, but he still savors the compliments. Next time, he will smoke four!
Let's get started on our gathering, and how I learned to host around the main attraction. We will start with the invites.
When we have a barbeque, we have to be careful. We have a lot of friends and family. I am from a family of 12 children with lots of nieces and nephews. That alone, can begin a huge party. My husband flies model airplanes, and has a lot of friends through that activity. My point is, you need to decide if this will be a small or large affair before you begin inviting people.
We decided on a medium to large barbeque, so we invited family and some personal and flying friends. I have listed below how to group people in your life, and then decide who to invite based on the number of people in that group, and how big you want the party.
-fellow church goers
You may have different groups than we do. I have listed our groups, and decided co-workers were out. I have dear friends at work, but I have to eliminate somehow. I see them often, so I decide to reach out to personal friends I haven't seen in a while. I typically always invite family. I know they won't all show up, so it won't be too large.
My husband's choice was his flying pals. His family lives two or more states away, and aren't able to attend. We also invited a few close neighbors and church friends. Okay, so our barbeque is already about 40-50 people. How to we begin inviting? I cannot call all those people!
I have found that texting is a way to let people know we are having a barbeque. I typically call those who don't text, or who I have not seen or spoken to for a long period of time. Older folks tend to prefer a phone call.
I use social media also, but I have a word of warning. You can begin an event and invite those who you have decided to include in your list, but you run the risk of them writing a public message to you about the party. Others who were not invited, may see the message. If you feel some may be offended by not having been invited, that could cause you problems.
Finally, you could always spread the news of your party by word of mouth, but people may not remember it if they don't have it in writing. That brings me to the last option of sending out flyers or invitations.
It's easy these days to whip up an invitation on your home computer, and print it to hand or mail out to your guests.
We are serving smoked pork butts, as I have already stated. So what goes with that? I chose baked beans, potato chips, fruit salad, a relish tray for the pork sandwiches, strawberry cake and cookie bars. Of course I had beverages like two liters of soft drinks, lemonade and sweet tea. I had not intended on having my guests bring anything, but they always do. In fact one of my friends said she almost didn't come because she felt wrong coming to eat and not bringing something to share.
So if a guest wants to bring food, let them. I ended up turning down a salad and a vegetable tray. The green beans that I had a friend make for me, got devoured they were so good. We were a little short on veggies for all the guests. If I would have just let my guests bring dishes, we would have been better off.
We ended up with deviled eggs, artichoke dip, green beans, more bags of chips, brownies, chocolate cake bars, and soft drinks as extras. This made quite a feast.
I pondered making potato salad, but in the end, I decided against it. My husband spends all of his time on the barbeque. Fourteen hours to be exact, so I don't want to overwhelm myself with food dishes to make and cleaning the house by myself!
Tip: The majority of your money will probably be spent on the meat. You want good quality meat to feature. Your sides can be made inexpensively if you take the time to bargain shop or use items on hand.
TIP 2: My relish tray consisted of onion, pickles, and sliced jalapenos. The jalapenos are always gone quickly. Many don't think of that as being a relish tray item. It was my husband's idea. It's great on the pulled pork.
Find a Grilling Book to Use as a Guide
His Own Recipe
My husband has found a grilling book that has been very helpful to him. It's been helpful as far as seasoning and smoking the pork, but he has created his own recipes by using the book as a general guide. He has his own delicious mild and hot barbeque sauces. I can give you a hint on what he uses in it, Tennessee Sunshine hot pepper sauce. You can use this for any barbeque sauce recipe that calls for hot sauce.
The sauce itself must remain a secret, but read through the many books available for help.
He also makes his own rub recipe. He rubs it on the pork, and lets it sit overnight to season the meat. A rub is granular for you to apply by sprinkling, then rubbing it on with your fingers.
The Secret Rub for the Pork
Simple Fruit Salad
Sometimes, less is more. I feel that way about fruit salad. When the main showcase is the pork, the sides must be good, but not necessarily good enough to pass over the pork which was cooked with such care for so many hours!
I have a simple fruit salad that I made for this gathering. It's four fruits that are popular, and together they are just right. I had apples and mandarin oranges at the house, so I bought kiwi and strawberries. The salad cost me little since I bought the fruit in season (good prices in the right season), and used what I already had.
2 Jazz apples
1 15oz can of mandarin oranges in light juice
Cut the kiwi and strawberries into thin slices, and place them in a medium bowl. Cut the apples into small chunks or squares, and place them in a plastic bag with some lemon juice (enough to bath the apples). Remove the apples from the juice with a slotted spoon and place in the bowl with the other fruit.
Drain about half of the juice from the mandarin oranges, and pour the remaining juice and oranges in the bowl. Stir the fruit gently to mix the fruits together. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Tip: The lemon juice keeps the apples from turning brown, but once removed from the juice, won't keep the lemon juice flavor.
Baking Cookie Bars
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
These cookie bars are like no other! I combined two recipes I had to make this creation. One of my husband's airplane buddies told him the cookie bars were better than his barbeque, and my husband told him he was off the barbeque guest list!
1 cup margarine
1c creamy peanut butter
3 cups all-purpose four
1c brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Cream margarine, sugars, eggs, and vanilla. Add peanut butter to that mixture. Combine the dry ingredients, then add to the creamed mixture. Add the chocolate chips and gently stir. Spray a 9 x 13 glass dish with cooking spray, and spoon the mixture into the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 23 minutes, then check. When cake tester or tooth pick comes out with slightly moist cookie from center of pan, it's done.
Tip: Decide on a recipe that you can make without having to buy many items. Cookie bars were good for me because I only needed chocolate chips.
The Tastiest Green Beans Ever!
Seasoned Simmered Green Beans
My good friend Karen made the green beans for me so that I could concentrate on other dishes. I am so glad I had her do them. Everyone was going on and on about those green beans. That's right, you heard me correctly, the green beans. Who knew they could be so tasty!
-5 strips of bacon, cut into pieces
-1/2 medium onion
-crushed red pepper
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/8 tsp black pepper
-1/2-3/4 tsp minced garlic
-1/4c loosely packed brown sugar
-industrial size can green beans
Place bacon in a large pot on medium heat. As the bacon begins to render, chop onion and add to bacon. Then add four shakes of red pepper, the salt, and black pepper. Once the onion begins to brown, add garlic and brown sugar. Allow that to come together and add green beans. Cover the beans with beef stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer for four hours.
Please Rate Karen's Green Beans
We have our barbeques at our home. We have a great house for entertaining. We have a large kitchen, dining,and living area that are one big room. Also, we have a back yard that has some great features. We have a patio for a table and chairs, a pergola overhead, and a pool. It all makes a great setting for a barbeque.
Springtime brings flowers in our pots, vines growing, and the greenest grass to lounge over in chairs. Many people sat in our dining area, but the sun was luring many out of doors into the nice weather. We had to cancel our barbeque once and move it to another date because of rain, but God turned out a great day for us for the second planned date.
You don't have to have the pool or expensive lawn furniture. A party is what the people who attend make of it. With great food and fun conversations, it's a good time for all.
Use What You Have on Hand
Serving with Simplicity
Plates, flatware, and cups can cost a fortune if you let it. Make it simple. I bought inexpensive but durable plates and such at a discount store. No need for tablecloths or decorations. I'm making it simple, and letting us enjoy with what I have.
I threw it all together in a basket I had on hand in the house. It made it look organized and inviting to grab and go through the food line.